Senate decision on Education inquiry request comes next week

Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco will wait until next week to make a decision on how to proceed in relation to the multiple requests for congressional inquiries presented to him.

On Tuesday, the opposition to Jair Bolsonaro mustered enough signatures to open an inquiry into corruption and influence-peddling schemes within the Education Ministry. The creation of the committee will be kicked off after Mr. Pacheco reads it before the floor.

But the pro-government caucus is pressuring Mr. Pacheco to put that investigation request to the back of the queue. There are another three requests for hearings committees waiting for Mr. Pacheco to address them.

One is to probe illegalities around public works between 2006 and 2018 – before Mr. Bolsonaro took office. The two others are around drug trafficking and irregularities within public contracts with NGOs.

That push is an attempt by pro-Bolsonaro senators to disrupt proceedings, but the Senate would hardly have the ability to conduct four simultaneous probes and keep its regular activities while the campaign season is underway.

At this point, a week removed from the (brief) arrest of former Education Minister Milton Ribeiro, the push for an Education inquiry seems hard to contain.

The government is at least trying to get key positions within the committee. In last year Covid inquiry, the pro-Bolsonaro caucus failed to get any of the positions of chair or rapporteur of the committee – allowing the inquiry to conduct a thorough investigation into the Jair Bolsonaro administration’s pandemic response.

Its final report recommended 81 indictments and accused President Bolsonaro of crimes against humanity.

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